Miners cycle through various values of a nonce to try to find a rare hash value in a proof-of-work blockchain. A miner gathers candidate transactions for a new block, adds a piece of data called a nonce, and executes a cryptographic hashing function. The nonce is varied and the hashing continues. If the miner “wins” by finding a hash value that is very small, the miner receives a direct reward in newly minted cryptocurrency. A miner also earns an indirect reward, collecting fees for the transactions included in their block.

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